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Interstellar Travel

Updated on January 30, 2015

The Space Craze

After watching the recent movie 'Interstellar,' I started surfing the net to gather more information if interstellar travel will indeed be possible some day. The following news clippings caught my attention and then got me wondering.

"The world's first space tourist and multimillionaire Dennis Tito is financing a project to get space tourists to Mars by early 2018. Tito, who spent $20 million on his space trip in 2001, is so anxious to get to the red planet, he's pumping hundreds of millions of his own money into the project, because he's doesn't want to wait till NASA or Roskosmos will offer such space trips to just any rich tourists. The return trip to Mars should take about 501 days and is expected to cost over $100 million per space tourist. "Expensive, I know, but we already have a list of customers who are willing to pay this price for this once in a lifetime experience", said Tito."

"It's official - British singer Sarah Brightman secured herself a space trip in 2015. Brightman paid over $20 million for this "space ticket" which will allow her to spend three weeks at the International Space Station - which works out to about $1 mil a day. In an interview, Brightman said she always dreamed about space travel, and finally decided to buy herself the most expensive vacation she could think of. The world-famous classical vocalist will spend two years training for this space mission. She also started learning Russian, to communicate with the Russian crew who will take her to the ISS and back. "I wish some alien would kidnap me," Brightman said."

"Iran successfully sent a monkey into space and it returned back alive and safe. This is an important step in the Iranian space exploration program, says Iranian Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi. "There's still a long way to go till we send man into space, but today we became one step closer to this", adds Vahidi. Iranian television showed still pictures of the monkey in a capsule after it landed. Previously, Iran successfully sent several small animals into space, but the previous attempt to send a monkey into space failed in 2011."

So is interstellar travel really possible if today they are actually planning on interplanetary holidays? But what do these potential tourists survive on? Will it be those protein pills that are often popped by the astronauts to keep hunger at bay and remain healthy? Or else will it be those blow-dried pastas and noodles that need some water to be converted into tasteless rubbish that can be passed off as gourmet delights? Why not offer them a five-course meal, prepared fresh with chicken or pigs slaughtered on board and supervised by the famed Michelin chefs from around the world? Well, for that chicken, pigs and whole cows need to be transported into outer space as well.

Is It Really Possible?

The American space agency NASA has been studying the possibilities of interstellar travel for some time now. They have quite a few ongoing planned missions to study the cosmos for the existence of Earth-like planets outside our solar system that can sustain life. Towards that end, the Kepler Space Telescope was launched by NASA in 2009. It is located at about 64 million miles above the Earth. It has proved that every star in outer space has at least one planet rotating around it, and has helped discover thousands of alien worlds. The telescope is non-functional since 2013 after equipment malfunction, and NASA is planning to launch another more powerful telescope in 2017 and has named it TESS, or Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite.

The nearest planet in a different solar system is the Alpha Centauri Bb that is at a distance of 4.3 light years away. Spacecraft using chemical rockets cannot sustain that distance. Thus, even if we design a system that can travel faster than the speed of light, it will still take more than four years to reach the nearest interstellar planet. Space scientists until now have only managed to send the spacecraft Voyager 1 outside the solar system. It was launched in 1977 and entered outer interstellar space in 2012. At the speed at which it is traveling, the spacecraft will not come anywhere near any interstellar planet in the next 40,000 years.according to NASA.

Some scientists are researching space-bending warp drives on interstellar travel, while others are thinking about giant solar sails and nuclear fusion drives. However, most scientists doubt that interstellar travel is possible at all since breaking the speed of light is difficult if not impossible. At the same time, if a future advanced civilization can break the barrier of space and time through sufficient energy then interstellar travel may be possible.

However, Les Johnson, deputy manager at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. thinks the first manned interstellar flight to be hundreds of years away. He said "I think before we ever really undertake sending something to another star, we will probably have to be masters of our own solar system."


McDonald's Burger to Snack
McDonald's Burger to Snack
Shepherd's Pie For Lunch
Shepherd's Pie For Lunch

So What About Yorkshire Pudding And Shepherd's Pie At Mars?

So I am in outer space on a $20 million holiday, $ 5 billion if interstellar, looking down on earth as it gets smaller from the size of my fist to a peanut and then a dot. I slumber off in peace thinking I am far away from ISIS, Taliban, Mujahideen and the New York cops. After some hours, if there are hours there, I wake up absolutely refreshed from the best sleep I have ever had since I was a suckling child. I have a glorious hunger that growls, and press the button for breakfast to be served. Of course, prior to that I wanted to brush my teeth, wanted to pee and then the larger one, but a computerized voice monitoring my innards told me to do everything within the suit itself. I did that, not knowing whether my refuse would be recycled for my next meal or drink. Anyway, I so look forward to that crispy toast with butter and jam, bacon, sausages and two eggs boiled exactly for three minutes each, along with a steaming cup of the best Brazilian coffee. I extend my arm confined within a suit that makes movement impossible, and out comes a pill from a hole within the wall with an electronic voice telling me to pop it or else stay hungry.

Well, what is for lunch then, I deliberate with myself. It is after all my $20 million holiday to Mars and I so look forward to my pie served with a chilled glass of Tuborg for lunch. But then, you never know these computer programs that have been trained not to understand emotion, or hunger as in my case. I cut short my craving and look out through another hole in the wall at virtually nothing, only darkness all around, encased within a suit that perhaps still contains my refuse. And I was planning on a $5 billion holiday next decade to travel to Alpha Centauri Bb!! That will have to wait until they serve warm hamburgers and hot dogs on board.

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    • profile image

      Khushi Moitra 3 years ago

      Great hub and funny too.

    • Dip Mtra profile image
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      Dip Mtra 3 years ago from World Citizen

      I will read it Mana. Guru Shri Chinmoy has fascinated many, though I haven't had the chance to read him ever. I will order the book at Amazon and get back to you after I have read it. However, I do know that he is the motivation of some great minds around the world.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 years ago from london

      Thanks Bro,

      You write like a good and noble human being, not an atheist, and the people you mention are all spiritual people. Krishnamurthy has a very beautiful book called At The Feet of The Master.

      Yes, he appeared non-conformist alright, but he was adored and held as a Guru by many devotees, the very thing he preached against. You would not find Spiritual Masters of the Highest Order talking his philosophy. They know that humans by nature, are always looking for someone or something to emulate as it helps them to grow.

      So whether it be a Mohammed Ali, a Luther King; a Kennedy or a Gandhi, whatever serves to inspire and works for the individual is always good. You may care to read my Book on Amazon: My Guru Sri Chinmoy: Life And Teachings. Chapters 10 - 13 are the core of the Spiritual Life, as I understand it. Much Mehta

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 years ago from london

      Thanks Bro,

      You write like a good and noble human being, not an atheist, and the people you mention are all spiritual people. Krishnamurthy has a very beautiful book called At The Feet of The Master.

      Yes, he appeared non-conformist alright, but he was adored and held as a Guru by many devotees, the very thing he preached against. You would not find Spiritual Masters of the Highest Order talking his philosophy. They know that humans by nature, are always looking for someone or something to emulate as it helps them to grow.

      So whether it be a Mohammed Ali, a Luther King; a Kennedy or a Gandhi, whatever serves to inspire and works for the individual is always good. You may care to read my Book on Amazon: My Guru Sri Chinmoy: Life And Teachings. Chapters 10 - 13 are the core of the Spiritual Life, as I understand it. Much Mehta

    • Dip Mtra profile image
      Author

      Dip Mtra 3 years ago from World Citizen

      Wonderful to know that you do not separate religions and try to take or adopt the best of each Mana! I haven't read much on Shri Chinmoy, but now that you say I plan on doing so. Incidentally, have you read J.D. Krishnamurthy, the unconventional and nonconformist Indian Guru?

      I think interstellar travel is only possible with the help of these Gurus, at least for now.

    • Dip Mtra profile image
      Author

      Dip Mtra 3 years ago from World Citizen

      Wonderful to know that you do not separate religions and try to take or adopt the best of each Mana! I haven't read much on Shri Chinmoy, but now that you say I plan on doing so. Incidentally, have you read J.D. Krishnamurthy, the unconventional and nonconformist Indian Guru?

      I think interstellar travel is only possible with the help of these Gurus, at least for now.

    • Dip Mtra profile image
      Author

      Dip Mtra 3 years ago from World Citizen

      Wonderful to know that you do not separate religions and try to take or adopt the best of each Mana! I haven't read much on Shri Chinmoy, but now that you say I plan on doing so. Incidentally, have you read J.D. Krishnamurthy, the unconventional and nonconformist Indian Guru?

      I think interstellar travel is only possible with the help of these Gurus, at least for now.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 years ago from london

      Ok Bro.

      I see you as a wonderful Soul and brother. I have not thought of you as an Atheist. In fact I write of atheist and speak of them as really nice people. You certainly seem to have taken the time to know about spiritual and religious figures. I will read your two Hubs, perhaps on Saturday, when I can do them justice.

      I feel the need to speak very briefly of myself:

      I practice Spirituality/Yoga Philosophy/Meditation, but I strive to love all God's children. I sat at the feet of a man of God for 32 years and for 50 years he taught the philosophy of Love and Oneness. He was questioned internationally on TV and on other platforms about Religion and he always maintained that ours is love of God. I follow in this Path of Love for all Beings, and do not separate.

      After 32 years of studying Vedic and Western Spirituality, you will find that I know a surprising amount about Rumi. He is by far the most celebrated of Persian mystic poets in the West, and his books have been translated in many languages. He wrote over 50,000 poems and I know of only one man who has written infinitely more. My Teacher Himself.

      I have been going to a Sufi Order to recite my poems and they are all Rumi lovers and speak of him from time to time. So happy that you wish to write about him. Since you read some of my esoteric poems, you should have found him by now, as I use a video of him at the end of some poems. Much Mehta. (Loving kindness)

    • Dip Mtra profile image
      Author

      Dip Mtra 3 years ago from World Citizen

      No, no, I am an atheist, so am not much concerned about religion. Rumi was a traveling dervish who is a symbol of the milder face of Islam over the ages, in fact all Sufis are. They sing hymns in praise of God, just like the "Bauls" in Bengal, India do. They are all basically traveling fakirs singing about the greatness of God.

      In fact, I am planning a hub on Rumi-I have the material and am trying to form the setup presently. Meanwhile, I would greatly appreciate if you read my two latest hubs, comparison of major world religions and the other on shias and sunnis in Islam in a tabular simple form and would be greatly obliged to receive your feedback.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 years ago from london

      Yes, Bro,

      On one level you're right, I should have been aware of the 'sensibilities'. He is the odd one out.

      I know his story 'though, although it is better to say that I feel his infusion of Love. There is a deep place in my Heart where I sometimes go and forgot that separation exists. Instead I feel the consuming Oneness of the Self; the intoxicating and inebriated state of all-God-lovers.

      Still, in order of lineage, these are the ones I hold most dear: Lord Ram; Lord Krishna; Lord Buddha; Lord Christ; (a product of the East)Lord Chaitanya; Lord Ramakrishna; Lord Aurobindo and my own Guru naturally, Sri Chinmoy.

      You will know of course, that India is full of Souls of the Highest Order: Ramana Mahashi, Sri Anandamayi Ma; the deathless Yogi Babaji; Sri Trailanga Swami; Papa Ramdas ...... let me take up your invitation to continue on the plane. hehe.

      Pardon my insensitivity. Om Shanti!

    • Dip Mtra profile image
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      Dip Mtra 3 years ago from World Citizen

      Rumi in this? Mana he was a Sufi dervish quite a few centuries back in present day Turkey and an Islam follower, He doesn't fit into the scheme of things of Indian mythology where Sri Krishna is the superhero. Anyway, we can talk the rest when we take the flight together, what do you say?

      Wisdom comes with age or experience Mana? I am exposed to both though.

      Peace be with you brother, now and forever.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 years ago from london

      You're funny too, and most definitely very wise, Dip.

      I see that I've made an impression on you. I applaud your spirit. Hari Om Tat Sat!

      P.S. We could add Sri Krishna, Prahlad, Narada, Rumi and Meera; and then outsmart Vyasa like he did another to tell his story. Hehe.

    • Dip Mtra profile image
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      Dip Mtra 3 years ago from World Citizen

      Will book the seat if you take the one beside me, though which life I don't know yet since it may take a few lifetimes to make that kind of money. all to stare through a hole at the vast emptiness. It may turn out boring as well after we finish our discussion on Kunti, Sita, Lakshmi within the first few hours!!!

      I always wondered why Branson named his companies Virgin? Nut case, if there ever was one.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 years ago from london

      All within the realm of possibility, Bro. You wish to book your seat?

      Richard Branson is very keen. Some temporary setbacks but things are looking good, I'd say. In our Soul, we are free. Peace, Bro.

    • Dip Mtra profile image
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      Dip Mtra 3 years ago from World Citizen

      I just read somewhere that they are also planning entire self sustaining colonies to be shipped into outer space that can procreate within the spaceship so that exploration goes unhindered into space.

    • Dip Mtra profile image
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      Dip Mtra 3 years ago from World Citizen

      Thanks Devika. Its actually a comic twist to the craze for space holidays these days with some insight thrown in. Greatly appreciated, especially coming from a veteran at HP like you.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      An interesting hub and so well--researched. I like the photos.

    • Dip Mtra profile image
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      Dip Mtra 3 years ago from World Citizen

      Thanks Alicia for reading this. I wanted to give a comic twist to the recent craze for space holidays, buying land on mars, booking up to inhabit Mars etc. when travel itself is rather daunting, if not impossible. The extent to which people go!

      I would be happier exploring my own world first, Peru, Brazil, China-so many exotic places to travel and see in this one lifetime of whatever is left of that.

    • Dip Mtra profile image
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      Dip Mtra 3 years ago from World Citizen

      Thanks Ruby for reading this. Neither would I venture to spend $20 mil., even if I had that kind of money, to float in a 10x10 ft cubicle or cylinder and have tablets for breakfast, dinner and lunch. With zero gravity, I wonder how I can sleep, eat, drink, read or do essentials.

      Why so much trouble when you can have a million times better holiday in say $2000?

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is interesting and thought provoking. The vastness of space is amazing. I would love to learn more about it than we already know.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is very interesting, but I wouldn't go if they paid me one hundred mil. Fear of height had been my companion since birth. Voted up..

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